FEWS NET Executive Overview of Food Security 30 Jul 2008
EAST AFRICA: Below-normal March-May rains, crop failure, and high prices threaten food security in much of East Africa. These conditions are exacerbated by market and trade disruptions, conflict, and limited food, water, and pasture availability. While recent rains have improved the situation in some areas, high and extreme levels of food insecurity persist in Ethiopia's Somali, Oromia, SNNP, Amhara, Tigray, and Afar regions; in Kenya's Turkana, Mandera, and Marsabit districts, and southeastern marginal farming areas; in central and southern Somalia; and in Djibouti's urban areas and pastoral livelihood zones. In northeastern Uganda's Karamoja Region, successive below-average harvests, high prices, and deteriorating pastoral conditions will prolong high levels of food insecurity through September 2009. Emergency food aid pipelines throughout the region face shortfalls through the end of the calendar year.
GUATEMALA: Above-normal rainfall in parts of northern and eastern Guatemala have damaged staple and cash crops, caused floods and landslides, and led to the death of at least 17 people. Additional rainfall, forecast for the days ahead, will exacerbate these conditions. Short-term assistance is needed to improve access to potable water, prevent water-borne diseases, rehabilitate damaged infrastructure, facilitate access to seeds and tools for re-sowing activities, and ensure adequate availability of food until the next harvest is available in November.
ZIMBABWE: Recent crop assessments by FAO/WFP indicate that maize production for the 2008/09 season is 37 percent higher than earlier government estimates. However, the country still faces a national cereal deficit of 1,051,000 MT. Grain prices remain high and supplies of basic commodities are limited and erratic on formal markets. Households across the country are now facing increased food access constraints and have begun shifting to lesspreferred foods, bartering household assets for food, reducing non-food expenditures, and collecting wild foods earlier than normal.